All that talk about cocktail gear a few days ago started to make my mouth water for a juicy cocktail or two to toast the end of summer.
Now, it’s been raining in Boston for weeks, and my mint patch is absolutely thriving. This means one thing: It’s the perfect time for mint juleps.
My dear friend the Lady Otter reminded me of this fabulous drink when she asked me to plant some mint for her at the beginning of the summer. She brought me two tiny Kentucky Colonel Mint plants, the traditional mint used in this cocktail. In the last few months, they’ve taken over the front yard:
So, what exactly is a julep?
A julep is a cocktail with liquor and sugar, served with ice and garnished with mint. So, while most folks are familiar with the mint julep, this means that the ubiquitous mojito that we all started drinking with abandon a few years ago is also a julep, made with rum.
Juleps are said to have originated in the South and are drunk at the Kentucky Derby. They’re traditionally served in silver or pewter cups, or more popularly in a collins glass.
Mint juleps are refreshing and dangerously easy to drink. Here’s how to make one. (Or two, or three…)
A Proper Mint Julep
10 mint leaves
2 sugar cubes
2 oz. bourbon
Put the mint and sugar into a collins glass. Muddle them together until the sugar cubes are completely crushed and the mint is bruised. (Muddling releases the flavor and glorious aroma of the mint leaves.)
If you don’t have an actual muddler, use the back of a bar spoon or the end of a wooden spoon. We actually use the end of a small rolling pin.
Fill the glass halfway with crushed ice. Add the bourbon and stir with a spoon to mix well.
Add more crushed ice til the glass is full. Garnish with a few sprigs of mint and enjoy.